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A new survey has revealed that the return-to-office has gained momentum following the drop in Covid-19 cases as employees from various sectors make their way back to office. According to a survey by Colliers and Awfis, majority of employees in telecom and consulting sectors have returned to office with significant fall in Covid-19 cases, while the IT sector is reportedly lagging as of now.

Notably, the property consultant Colliers India and co-working operator Awfis' joint report looks into the status of return to work across different sectors, the survey said, "as the third wave of Covid-19 started waning in February, the return-to-office gained momentum. As a result, by June 2022 about 34% of the companies saw about 75-100% of the employees back in office (includes hybrid work)."

Interestingly, nearly 41% of occupiers stated that only up to 25% of their employees have returned to office, with the survey showing that telecom and consulting sectors saw the highest at 75-100% rate of return to office while IT and new technology companies saw the lowest at 0-25% rate of return to office.

Ramesh Nair Colliers India CEO said, “the survey has made it clear that a distributed workspace strategy is the way to go for occupiers in this new era of experiential workplaces, as occupiers emerge from the after-effects of the pandemic. Flex spaces, in particular, are leading this growth, as occupiers from varied sectors are housing teams in flex centres across cities." Nair further informed that the flexible workspace operators leased about 3.5 million square feet of office space in January-June this year across the top six cities, almost three-fourths of the flexible space leasing in entire 2021. 

Amit Ramani, founder and CEO, Awfis said the findings of the survey are a testament to the success of the distributed work model and subsequently of flex spaces in catering to the ever-evolved workspace needs of India Inc. adding that “going forward, 77% occupiers will include flex spaces as part of their workplace strategy. We expect exceptional demand in the future, driven largely by large corporates for de-densification of existing traditional offices."

Notably, the survey was conducted during May-June among occupiers to understand their strategies regarding distributed workplace. The respondents were from different sectors such as IT/ITeS, BFSI, engineering and manufacturing and others. Total 150 responses were received from C-Suite executives spanning Founders, CEOs, COOs and CHROs of various companies. The company size of the respondents varied, starting from a range of 1-500 employees to companies having over 10,000 employees. 

The survey further highlighted that nearly 74% of the occupiers are likely to adopt distributed workspace while 53% of occupiers prefer working from home plus office as their preferred workplace portfolio strategy. About 49% of the occupiers are likely to adopt flex centres to enable distributed workspace, followed by setting up their own offices in metro and non-metro cities, it said.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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